Aron Hersch Zupnik

Date of birth: 1848 | Date of death: 1917

Occupation or position: 

          Aron Zupnik  was born in Stryi, Galicia, in 1848. He settled in Drohobych in 1866, the year in which he also married Zyrl Kuhmarker, the daughter of local merchant. Aron Zupnik was a Jewish writer, the editor of the newspaper “Drohobyczer Zeitung” (1883-1914) and the owner of the Drohobych printing press. “Drohobyczer Zeitung” was published every two weeks; every second edition had the name “Drohobyczer Handels-Zeitung”. It was published in German but in Hebrew script. Every edition also had a section published in Hebrew. The newspaper was an example of the economic newspaper format,  following the latest news in local business life, the prices of wax and sales and acquisitions. The newspaper also demonstrates the remarkable change in the cultural orientations of Drohobych Jewry, from the Haskalah to Zionism,  publishing more and more information about political Zionism beginning with the turn of the century. Aron Zupnik had friendly relations with Ascher Selig Lauterbach, an industrialist and writer from Drohobych, who inspired and supported the publication of the newspaper.

          Aron Zupnik published the following works: "Ḳedushat ha-Shem" (Brody, 1867), a historical novel depicting Jewish life in Spain and adapted from Ludwig Philippson's "Jacob Tirado"; "Toledot Abraham" (Lemberg, 1869), a biography of Abraham Cohn, a preacher from Lemberg; "Emet u-Mishpaṭ" (Drohobycz, 1883), a Hebrew translation of Joseph von Wertheimer's "Jüdische Lehre und Jüdisches Leben" (also published in Polish under the title "Nauka Zydowska"); "Vom Ḥeder zur Werkstätte" (ib. 1884), a Judæo-German novel dealing with Jewish life in Galicia and "Zur Lösung der Judenfrage Durch die Juden" (Berlin, 1885). His writings in Hebrew and German also appeared in Hamashber, Hamagid and Hashakhar.

          Aron Zupnik was an active participant in Drohobycz community life. He organized and was a member of the local branch of the "Alliance Israelite Universelle" (1863), volunteered at the "Jüdische Volksküche" soup kitchen (1867), participated in the Drohobycz branch of the Zionist organization "Zion" (1894), etc. He was interested in the Haskalah Movement, but in the 1880s turned to Zionism. However, in the jubilee issue of “Drohobyczer Zeitung” in 1913, Zupnik emphasized his moderate and liberal views, which helped the newspaper last 30 years. Aron Zupnik died in Vienna, during the bomb attack of 1917.

          Aron Zupnik’s son, Leon (Leisor) Zupnik, was a lawyer’s assistant in Lemberg. He died of tuberculosisin 1895, at a young age.